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Thumb Voting

Main Takeaways
Reading Time: < 1 minute Thumb-Voting... vote with your thumbs. — Thumb up: positive; thumb down: negative; thumb horizontal: Don't care.

Description of Thumb Voting

Thumb Voting is a voting format to agree upon alternatives after they are discussed extensively. To create the alternative proposals for group decisions, there are other formats.

Thumb Voting is a simple version of the group decision Five Finger Voting or Five-to-Fold facilitation for decision-making. A group has to decide in a very short time on a proposal and possible alternatives to solve the issue.

The participants debated extensively the proposal and it's alternatives in a discussion up-front, e.g. in a Five-to-Fold facilitation. Now, it is time to decide. — You can vote with your fingers (Thumb Voting, Five Fingers Voting) or with Coulored Cards.


Rules of Thumb Voting

One out of the group

  • Explains the issue shortly.
  • Offers the solution.
  • Fields questions — only short answers — no discussion.
  • Asks the group for their voting:
    • Thumb down: You want to block the proposal because you believe it’s damaging.
    • Thumb horizontal: You’re on board, you do not care about pro or cons.
    • Thumb up: You’re all-in and prepared to own the project. You’ll take the lead if asked.

Thumb Voting


When to use Thumb Voting

  • There is an issue to solve.
  • There is a proposal (and alternatives) as a solution.
  • There is a group, the participants, that has the authority to decide.
  • There is only very short time.